Saturday, March 26, 2011

so. much. butter.

this morning i spent some quality time with the Word of God, a cup of coffee and marion cunningham.

i've been in a cooking funk lately. i haven't felt like making anything. it doesn't help that i haven't had a great deal of free time or that my pantry is rather sad looking. i try to muster up some creativity but it doesn't stick. i just give up and instead have three slices of banana bread for dinner. hey! i forgot i made banana bread recently! that must count for something?

i recently bought marion cunningham's the breakfast book. molly at orangette has been posting recipes from this book since the beginning of the year. i came across marion's name again in january while i was reading judith jones' book the tenth muse. judith takes several pages to describe her time with marion: from teaching cooking classes with james beard, to working on cookbooks together. i love that marion had this desire to follow her heart, even if it meant beginning her culinary pursuits at the age of 49. i soon realized i need to get my hands on any cookbook by this woman.

i've had the breakfast book for a while now but i haven't given any of her recipes a try. part of my problem is that i'm cooking for one here. i would love to whip up some pancakes or muffins but then i will be eating pancakes and muffins for the next week. this morning i was flipping through her book trying to find something, anything i could make that could be pared down to feed little ol' me with the minimal ingredients i have in my pantry. i decided on a frittata with cheese and crumbs. it seemed simple and i had most of the ingredients. so i gave it a go.

one thing to note about this recipe, it is buttery! like, wowza. for a while i wasn't sure why my eggs weren't cooking because they still looked runny. then i realized it wasn't the egg yolks that were runny, it was the butter!. i ended up draining some butter before sliding my frittata onto a plate. please don't tell my mother about the amount of butter in this frittata because she might kill me. or be jealous of me. either or.

the best part is the toasted bread crumbs on top. bread crumbs which were toasted in even more butter. (i told you there was a lot of butter.) i used my homemade bread crumbs and they gave the perfect amount of crunch to each bite.

usually when i make frittatas i cook them for too long and the eggs turn out rubbery. this frittata was light and fluffy and the eggs were just the slightest bit wiggly. (wiggly being the technical term.)

frittata with cheese and crumbs
adapted from the breakfast book by marion cunningham

the following is how i made the frittata today, by halfing the original recipe. the original recipe serves five so by halfing it this should serve two and a half. however, i ate the whole thing..

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
4 eggs, gently beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (i probably could have used more cheese)

preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. use a 10 inch ovenproof skillet.melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat. stir in the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they have absorbed the butter and are golden. remove from heat and set the crumbs aside. clean the skillet. (i'm not exactly sure why you need a clean skillet for the eggs, but i decided to do as marion says.) in the clean skillet melt the remaining butter (2 tablespoons) over low heat. sprinkle half the (very buttery) crumbs over the bottom of the skillet. (i swear, so much butter.)

pour the eggs on top, add salt and pepper sparingly. cook without stirring for a minute or two, until the bottom has just begun to set. tilt the skillet to make sure. do not let eggs overcook. put the skillet in the oven and bake for just 2 minutes. sprinkle the cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs evenly over the top. bake 1 or 2 more minutes and remove from the oven. loosen the edges and slide the frittata onto a large serving plate. cut into wedges to serve.

or just grab a fork and have at it. i will say, it is wise to have milk on hand for this frittata. all that butter and the bread crumbs call out for it.

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